Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Give me 2 CC's of reality...stat!

My kid has a fever. All day it hovered in the 102/103 range. He camped out on the couch ALL DAY. Mostly sleeping. Occasionally waking up for some water or V8 Splash or a slice of apple or whatever. He even attempted a book report that isn't due until FRIDAY...wtf? Clearly he was delirious from the fever (and after reading what he wrote I hope to god that's the case). Before I shuttled him off to bed I gave him some Tylenol to bring down the fever and help him get through the night after sleeping the day away.

I did not panic. I did not call the doctor, local swine flu hotline or the CDC. I did not alert the media or don a hazmat suit or spray him down with disinfectant. For fuck's sake people, its a fever. The outlaws on the other hand freaked out. They were begging me, desperately pleading with me to take him to THE HOSPITAL. They acted like he was patient zero in Outbreak 2.

My mother outlaw actually wanted me to check that he was still breathing. I told her, "He just got up and went to the bathroom and climbed back into his nest of blankets on the sofa. I'm pretty sure he's not dead." I don't think she believed me. Here's how the conversation went...the stuff in [...] is what I did not say out loud. "Just humor me, Silver? [Humor you? Where's my dump truck?!] Take him to the doctor? [No] We have insurance, that's what it's for. [I don't care] What are you going to do if the fever goes up? [Give him Tylenol] Do you even know the protocol for that? [If it goes over 104, throw him in a lukewarm bath] What if it goes up in the middle of the night? [Deal with it] That's the worst time. [eye roll] Just consider taking him to the doctor. [No] They can run tests, just to make sure. [It's not the swine flu] It couldn't hurt anything. [bullshit] It might actually help. [You're an idiot] I have Pedialyte, Pedialyte popsicles, apple juice, Tylenol. [Me too] I can bring that over...or do you just want me to leave my ass at home? [Leave your ass at home]"

What I said was: "He's just got a fever. He's sleeping. I haven't given him Tylenol yet because I am letting his body do the work to fight off whatever he's got; that's what a fever is for. He isn't convulsing. He's not foaming at the mouth. It hasn't even been a whole day." I probably shouldn't have said anything about convulsions and foaming at the mouth. That must have given her a pretty frightening visual because she proceeded with more blah, blah bullshit to try to get me to freak out along with her. Holy fucking cow lady, I am not drinking your crazy juice. Back the fuck off.

Here's the thing, this is a woman who's only son is in a state of advanced alcoholism, probably dying of liver disease, and she won't take him to get help in the form of medicine, rehab, pysch center, whatever, take your pick. Anything could help here. She just thinks he needs to quit drinkin' and voila! Problem solved. She doesn't get that he HAS to drink at this point because if he quits cold turkey it could kill him. She thinks taking the liquor out of the house in Carolina will keep him sober. Apparently she's assuming that the rest of Carolina has quit selling alcohol (including the bar at the golf course he owns and goes to every day? Really?)

It's pretty sad actually. I'm not making light of it. He's in this weird Leaving Las Vegas kind of scenario...well, without the Elisabeth Shue character, although plenty of hooker-types seem to be auditioning for that role. Alright, maybe I am making a little light of it, but that's just because I use humor to deal with almost everything. He was in the hospital last Thanksgiving after throwing up bile for days. DAYS. THROWING UP BILE. And the mother outlaw wasn't even the one who suggested he go to the hospital. (How's THAT for hypocrisy? My kid has the sniffles and you're ready to send him to the Mayo Clinic but your kid has acute liver disease and you turn a blind eye? Huh?!) Anyway, he hasn't been to a follow up doctor since then...well, maybe not since February but still... I'm not going to out all his idiot behavior since then but I can tell you one thing for certain...it doesn't have anything to do with him getting better. All signs point to him kicking off sooner than later and I don't know how to brace my kids for that.

I tried to tell them once. This is how that went: Hey guys? You know, your Dad's pretty sick. Really? You knew that? You hear him throwing up a lot? Yes, that time he was in the hospital and we took him balloons, it's about that. He's not doing anything to make himself better. And I'm a little worried about him. Yes, he should eat more vegetables and exercise. What if he doesn't do that? No, Brooks is right. He could end up like Gram (Gram is my Mom; she died two years ago, not from liver disease).

And then the conversation fell apart. A little talking about what happens after you die, a little more dinner, then some iCarly. Then their Dad called. The first words out of the nine year old's mouth, "So, Dad, I hear you're sick." A wide eyed look from me while I mimed the universal symbol for "zip it!" (pretending to zip lips shut and turn the lock) and thankgod he changed the subject.

So anyway, my kid has a fever. I'm keeping him home from school. Last week the mother outlaw was convinced he was going to be abducted getting off the bus in front of the house because of the little girl in Florida (nope). When he'd get the sniffles in pre-school she was convinced he had an ear infection (nope). When he I took him out for walks after he was born she was convinced he was going to get bit by a mosquito and get encephalitis (nope). Yet, when he split his lip on the deck at her house when he was one she didn't want me to take him to the doctor...I did. 9/11/2001. ER. Plastic surgeon. Four stitches. When my mother was in the hospital I told her it was serious, asked her if she could pick the boys up from school. She thought I was exaggerating. My mother died 2 hours later.

I'm going to take medical advice from whom? Just give me the damn dump truck.

Thank you.

No comments: